New York, the home of about 8 million people, is one of the busiest and most happening cities in the world. NYC is divided into five boroughs – Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island. The city has many iconic sites and popular landmarks. According to the Mastercard Global Destination Cities Index, 62.8 million tourists, including 13.1 million from overseas, arrived in New York City in 2017. NYC currently ranks as the world’s 6th most popular city for tourists. Bangkok is at #1 with 20.05 million, followed by London at 19.83 million tourists.
New York City has everything to offer. From high-end cafes to affordable street food, old majestic buildings, eye-twitching skyscrapers, the serenity of nature, shopping, top museums in the world, to the glamour of city life, New York City is going to leave you wanting.
Manhattan is the most famous borough. There is the Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty, Central Park, and many restaurants and bars that make Manhattan a top attraction. In Queens, you can see the Beer Garden and the Bohemian Hall. Major attractions also include the South Asians the Indian neighborhood – The Jackson Street. It is often called ‘Little India’.
New York City – Quick Facts
- The Statue of Liberty was gifted by France.
- 37% of the population of NYC is from other countries.
- The Brooklyn Bridge is older than the Tower Bridge in London.
- Living in Manhattan is a joy in itself, but the cost of living is high – USD 3400 per month. Finding a home in Manhattan will pinch the pocket.
- New York was initially called ‘New Amsterdam’. It was later changed to New York after the city was given, as a gift, to the Duke of York. The city was renamed in 1898.
- Many locals complain about the water as it is unfiltered. So you may want to carry a water filter bottle. But the authorities and the health departments assure that it causes no health issues.
- Longacre Square is the old name for the very well-known Times Square.
- In New York City, residents can request tree plantations outside their homes. Trees are planted free of cost. Quite a step towards improving the environment.
- New York City is the largest city in the United States of America.
Top 8 Reasons to Visit New York City
1. Great Architecture: New York City is home to great architecture that speaks of the culture and heritage of the city. Some of the best examples are the Empire State Building, Grand Central Station, Statue of Liberty, and The Public Library. Combing gothic and modern, New York City is worth all the clicks in your DSLR.
2. Food: Love food? This is the right city for you. New Yorkers have made coffee a culture with flavors you cannot imagine. Bagel joints are everywhere. Just grab a bagel and your favorite latte or cappuccino and have it on the go. Gastronomy has emerged as a major theme here. Click this link to read our NYC street food guide.
3. Broadway: New York City is well known for its Broadway shows. It is a dreamland, which combines glamour with art. You must watch a show while in the city.
4. Skyscrapers: There are plenty of them. In fact, the NYC skyline is a top draw, almost unmatched anywhere in the world. There are many vantage points from where you can see these tall buildings reaching up for the sky.
5. Statue of Liberty: This majestic statue given to the US by France is one of the main crowd pullers. It has become a symbol of the country just as Kangaroo is to Australia. The lady of Liberty is on an island, close to the city. You have to take a boat to reach there. You can even get inside the statue and reach its crown. This is also one of the best places to see New York City’s famous skyline.
6. Central Park: It is a huge park right in the center of the city. There is a lot to see and do here as well. The Central Park Carousel, zoo, playground, Strawberry Fields – a memorial to John Lennon, a large lake, and even a castle. Many just grab a cup of coffee from Starbucks and relax. Kids love to play and run. It is a popular place for jogging. There are many top attractions in New York City nearby.
7. The Empire State Building: Since we are talking about skyscrapers, it is definitely impossible to not include the big brother. The Empire State Building is 1,454 feet tall in height with a total of 102 floors in the mid-town area of Manhattan.
8. Times Square: The TV screens all over the street and lighting that never goes off making it one of the reasons why New York City is often called ‘The City that Never Sleeps’. This is a place to get the best photos.
On Manhattan’s West Side, the world has its first underground park under construction called the “Lowline”.
How to Visit New York City on a Budget
Here are some tips to help you save money in the city –
New York Pass – Get the pass and you will get good discounts at many places to visit in New York and things to do here. It also includes the Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour. The pass is available online. You can download the ticket using your smartphone.
Take the Train – Visiting NYC from another city? Take the train instead of flying. Besides, it is a great way to see around the USA and have a good time. Carry some cookies and juice and enjoy the view.
Hotels – You may have to spend around $200 for a night in a New York City hotel. Book in advance and you will get a better price. Hotels close to the main tourist attractions and in Manhattan will cost more. Choose the location wisely, but stay close to public transportation. You can also select a hostel in New York City.
Free Events – New York City is expensive, and yet, there are museums, concerts, and street tours where you can learn about the city and experience its culture at a very low cost or no cost at all.
Visit During The Off-Season – Come to NYC in the low season and you will have fewer people. Almost everything will be cheaper too. The low seasons are usually between the middle or end of January to March.
Metro – Metro rides are a specialty of New York City. Instead, of taking a cab, it will be better to understand how the metro works. It may appear confusing as this is a huge network. Get a map and spend time looking at it. The pass will give you multiple rides for less.
July and August are the hottest months. If you want to enjoy the summer here then this is the best month to visit New York City. Temperature goes down considerably in the month of December and January.
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Though it is quite chilly in December and January, it is worth the visit. NYC is decorated with bells and lights. Snow adds to its beauty. Winters in New York are beautiful, serene, and peaceful.
Top Neighborhoods In NYC For Tourists
Visiting the city and not going around the neighborhood may leave your trip incomplete.
Downtown: This is the Financial District. You will find the best museums and historic sites. You can go to Ellis Island, the Statue of Liberty, and the Brooklyn Bridge. Many dining options. Good nightlife and entertainment.
Chinatown and Little Italy: Tourism and shopping go hand in hand. Chinatown offers you affordable shopping.
Tribeca, Nolita & Soho: Good neighborhood to spend an evening in a bar. Good for shopping too.
Greenwich Village: Greenwich Village is best known for its star lightings and dining as well live music concerts. Museums and historic sites.
Best Time To Visit New York City
April to June and then again between September and November is usually the best time to visit New York City. The weather will be pleasant and warm. Fewer tourists! The cheapest time of the year is during the weekends from the middle of January to the end of February.
NYC between September and November – Early fall! Many tourists during Thanksgiving. Key events include the Thanksgiving Day Parade, New York City Marathon, New York Film Festival, and the Lighting at Rockefeller Center.
NYC between December and February – Christmas time! See the massive tree in front of the Rockefeller Center. Dressed-up windows on the Fifth Avenue. Hotels will cost more. Key events include the New Year eve celebrations at Times Square.
NYC between March and May – This is spring time in the city. Can get hot for many visitors. You may need an umbrella and rain boots. Key events – the Ninth Avenue International Food Festival, St. Patrick’s Day Parade, Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit and the Easter Parade.
NYC between June and August – This is the hottest time of the year, but a popular time to visit NYC, particularly families. Expect high humidity. The key events at this time are the NYC Pride March, Metropolitan Opera, Belmont Stakes, New York International Fringe Festival, and the 4th of July celebrations.